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Saturday, 19 May, 2001, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Hewitt flops against qualifier
Hewitt had taken a break coming into the tournament
Hewitt was caught out by Portas' array of shots
Albert Portas (Spa) bt Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) 3-6, 7-5, 6-2
Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spa) bt Albert Costa (Spa) 6-1 6-2

Qualifier Albert Portas shocked seventh seed Lleyton Hewitt by beating the Aussie 3-6 7-5 6-2 to set up a Hamburg Masters final with Juan Carlos Ferrero.

The final, Portas's first in a Masters event, will be the 50th all-Spanish ATP final since 1990 and the third this year.

Qualifier Portas was overwhelmed in the first set of his match but hit back with some blistering backhand winners and drop shots to level.


I think this will do me good... you can sometimes forget what to do when you are a set and a break down
  Lleyton Hewitt
The world number 42 broke in the first game of the deciding set and never looked back to record the best win of his career in two hours.

"I played really, really well," he said. "I am feeling great right now but I know tomorrow will be so tough."

Hewitt said the defeat would make him stronger.

"Sure it is disappointing but I had such a long break that perhaps this defeat will help me at the French Open," he said.

"I took four weeks off before Rome last week and really didn't lift a racket just didn't do anything.

"So I think this will do me good. You can sometimes forget what to do when you are a set and a break down. This reminded me."

The Australian was amazed at his opponent┐s use of drop shots. Portas has become known as the 'Drop shot Dragon' this week.

"He sure hits a lot of them but he hits them so well, as well as anyone I have faced," he said.

Earlier, Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero made easy work of beating countryman Albert Costa.

 Albert Costa
Albert Costa: No answers
The eighth seed's semi-final triumph took his ATP Tour-leading winning streak to 16 matches.

He laid the foundations for his latest success by claiming a 13-minute second game to break for 2-0.

Although Costa broke straight back, Ferrero stepped up another gear to break twice more and wrap up the set in 36 minutes.

The clay court specialist then cruised through the second, completing a one-sided win in an hour and 13 minutes with a forehand winner down the line.

He is bidding become only the sixth man to win Hamburg and Rome, both major dates on the European calendar, in the same season.

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